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THE SITUATION ROOM
Police: Looting, Violence on the Streets of Baltimore. Aired 5- 6:00p ET
Aired April 27, 2015 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST: Happening now, breaking news -- violent protests. Running street battles breaking out in Baltimore after the funeral for Freddie Gray. Rioters pelting police with rocks and smashing a squad car. At least seven police officers are now down. They're wounded.
We have complete coverage coming up.
I'm Wolf Blitzer.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: And let's get right to the breaking news in Baltimore.
Just a little while ago, police announced at least seven officers have been hurt in attacks by violent and rock throwing, brick throwing protestors. Over the past few hours, we've seen police responding with tear gas and pepper spray. They also faced what they call a credible threat of violence from the city's gangs.
The latest demonstrations started shortly after today's emotional funeral for Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old man who was fatally injured this month while in police custody.
Our correspondents and our experts, they're all standing by. They're following today's breaking news.
Let's begin in Baltimore, on the streets of Baltimore, where it's major, major tension has erupted.
CNN's Miguel Marquez is there for us -- Miguel, update our viewers here in the United States and around the world on what's going on.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I've just come from Freddie Gray's funeral, Wolf, and it is pandemonium in the streets of Baltimore that was not expected today. Everybody thought today would be a day of reflection and a day of remembering Freddie Gray.
This is (AUDIO GAP) Road and Gwynns Falls Parkway. You can see police now moving in, moving down Reisterstown Road. If you look down that street, there was a police car burning a short time ago. It was right down this street, about a half mile down Reisterstown Road.
That is the area, very close to the area where Mr. Gray was arrested some two weeks ago, in the Gilmor Homes section of West Baltimore.
Police have been clashing with dozens, if not hundreds, of individuals in this area. I can tell you, we drove up from up -- up Reisterstown Road from North Avenue, where marchers have been marching in the neighborhood for many days. And it was a frightening scene -- young people, male and female, holding rocks, bricks, bottles, sticks, very, very angry to see anybody driving in a rental car who -- who was not African-American American and very, very threatening to us.
That said, there were several individuals who helped us get through the side streets and around so that we could get into this area where we are right now.
I can tell you, along the side streets and throughout this area, there are large groups of individuals ready to fight with police.
Police trying to get a hold of this, but, look, this is -- this is the corner here, this is Reisterstown Road.
If you look then in this direction, police are holding the line here.
If you look up toward the mall, in this direction, you can see the large police presence up in that direction. And then down to where Athena Jones is, where they've just made some arrests, down at North Monroe.
Look, we're a half mile from where Freddie Gray's funeral was today. That this is happening here, that this is happening now, is -- is a shock given the violence over the weekend and how upset the people in the neighborhood -- in Freddie Gray's neighborhood were that it happened and that it sets a very -- sets off a very bad chain of events for Baltimore -- Wolf.
BLITZER: We're looking at live pictures of a CVS pharmacy being effectively looted. You see a crowd there going in and out of that pharmacy. We saw a live picture of a police vehicle on fire right now. Police officers, they're holding their lines, but I don't see them getting directly involved in trying to prevent what's going on at that pharmacy, for example. Maybe they're getting reinforcements on the scene.
Miguel, stand by for a moment.
I want to bring in Athena -- Athena, where are you, Athena Jones?
I know you're watching these protests. You're pretty close to all of this, as well.
ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Wolf. I am. You can see, I'm right behind the police line here. And Miguel brought this up, but we are on North Monroe Street. This is the same street of the church where Freddie Gray was funeralized earlier today. And so we're not -- we're not very far away. This is taking place a very close distance.
It all started outside of a high school, when high school students did what was called a purge, which ended up being some sort of walkout to protest to Freddie Gray's death.
But it turned violent when they began throwing all kinds of projectiles, from paint cans to parts of shelves, boards.
We have begun to see more and more police officers putting on gas masks. We were warned about two hours ago that they could end up deploying tear gas to try to disperse this crowd.
That was when when we saw a police chopper flying lower than I've ever seen one, maybe three or four stories into the air, warning the crowd to disperse, saying this was an unlawful gathering.
That did not happen all that time ago. Now we have begun to see many of the people who were doing that throwing of objects pushed back. Many more arrests.
But right now, I can tell you, Wolf, it looks calm. But it will stay calm for a few minutes. And then a few minutes later, we'll start seeing more bricks and rocks and other objects thrown and more people arrested.
So it's still very, very unstable.
We are watching and waiting to see what happens here -- Wolf.
BLITZER: I want to go back to Miguel Marquez -- Miguel, I saw you walking in.
What's going on where you are now?
MARQUEZ: Pastor Jamal Bryant, who has been instrumental in all of this, in dealing with the Gray family, in helping them, has just arrived on the scene. He was given -- he came walking down Gwynns Falls Parkway, through the area of the protestors. The police then allowed him through the lines, which I can tell you, it is not easy to get through police lines.
And now he's moving over toward the North Monroe area. We're not sure why he's here or what he's doing, but certainly to ask for a more peaceful situation and for people to stop with the violence that they're doing right now.
BLITZER: This is a major American city. Baltimore one of the largest cities in the United States. Basically, a riot has erupted on the streets of Baltimore on this day of the funeral of Freddie Gray. And for viewers who are watching around the country, indeed, around the world, Baltimore is only about 40 or 50 miles from the nation's capital, from Washington, DC. There was supposed to be a Major League Baseball game later tonight, 7:05 p.m. Eastern.
But look what's going on in Baltimore. A story pharmacy has been looted, police cars have been smashed. Some of them are on fire. Police officers have been wounded in these incidents.
The pastor involved who has been involved in all of this trying to calm things down, Jamal Bryant.
I want to listen in and hear what he's saying.
REV. JAMAL BRYANT, PASTOR, EMPOWERMENT TEMPLE: This is not what Baltimore stands for.
So I'm out here today and I have men coming from the Christian church and from the mosque to try to pull them back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you put this back in the bottle now?
BRYANT: I think it's to bring all of these young people together to realize that we are in a code red crisis, is that I'm asking everybody to go home and to clear the streets. And tomorrow, everybody is going to meet at the church so that we can figure out -- so that we don't lose focus what it is that we're supposed to be doing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has his surprised you today?
BRYANT: It has.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: None of us heard about this.
BRYANT: It's disappointing. We're just hours out of the funeral, the family is just hours after putting their son to rest, to come just a few blocks away from where we had the service is disappointing. And I'm hoping to bring some calm and to bring our young people back into focus as to what we're really marching for. bill what do you say to do that, pastor?
What do you say to bring them -- bring calm?
BRYANT: There is one -- this is not what the family asked for, today of all days. The family was very clear that this was a day of sacred closure in the funeral. So for us to come out of the burial and walk into this is absolutely inexcusable.
I'm asking every young person to go back home. Tomorrow night, we'll have a community meeting for us to really recalibrate, because peace is the call and the order of the day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think that this is just frustration and anger or do you think it's much more than that?
BRYANT: It's frustration, anger and it's disrespect to the family. The family was very clear. We've been saying that all along, today, there was absolutely no protests, no demonstrations, that we go back into the street on tomorrow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pastor, what are you hearing?
We're hearing it's not just in this area...
BRYANT: No, it's...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- but North Avenue and probably...
BRYANT: No, we've got it...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- and probably downtown (INAUDIBLE)...
BRYANT: We have a team of men from the church going to North Avenue now to pull back those young people who are absolutely out of call, out of control, so that we can bring some order. This is a peaceful movement and we plan on maintaining that order.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's discussion about them moving toward downtown again.
BRYANT: Yes. We have a line from the gentlemen of from the Nation of Islam who are going to build a human wall, as well as men from the Christian church, making that human wall to let the men know that they've got to send these children back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where is that happening?
BRYANT: It's downtown is what I'll say.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So -- so all across downtown (INAUDIBLE)...
BRYANT: It's from North Avenue to downtown, those hot spots. We're pulling everybody back so that we can have calm and order. Violence is not the answer for justice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pastor, you're saying this is a peaceful protest, but we've seen people -- demonstrators, agitators, however you want to refer to them, throw rocks, bricks...
BRYANT: No, today...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- (INAUDIBLE).
BRYANT: -- what has happened this afternoon is not peaceful and it does not reflect the spirit and the heart of this movement. This is a movement of peace. We're calling for justice, not for vengeance and not for violence.
This does not represent the Gray family, nor does it represent the last seven days of peaceful protests. And so we're asking all of those who are participating to go back home. Tomorrow, we start afresh and anew and stay focused on justice for this family and justice for Baltimore. (CROSSTALK)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you spoken to the mayor?
BRYANT: I have not spoken to the mayor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And well and where do you go from here?
You're -- so you're getting your own people out...
BRYANT: My -- my focus is not the mayor. My focus is not the police commissioner. My focus is these black children on the streets. I don't want them arrested, wounded or tear gassed. I want them all to go back home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A very powerful message today at the eulogy.
How does what you're seeing now on the streets square with that?
BRYANT: It doesn't. This is a complete disconnect from what it is that we've seen the last couple of days. We've had a week of peacefully protests outside of what happened on Saturday. And we're going to go back to basics, is that we are believing no justice, no peace, but that peace has got to have balance and it's got to have order. Breaking glass and windows is not reflective of justice and what it is we're calling for.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pastor, you're on the street now. You're walking.
Where are you walking to?
BRYANT: I'm walking to wherever these young people are. That's my responsibility. That's my assignment. Not even looking for you all, but looking for our young people to go back into their homes and a call for peace and a call for order.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I ask a question?
What can just ordinary people do like me?
I'm from Baltimore. I love this city.
BRYANT: You're from here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What can I do to help?
BRYANT: I need you to get on Twitter, get on Facebook, Instagram, tell everybody to go back home and a call to peace so that all of us are on one accord. And tomorrow, have all of your friends meet me at Empowerment Temple at 7:30 tomorrow night.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sir.
BRYANT: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. BRYANT: I appreciate it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I appreciate it.
MARQUEZ: Pastor Jamal Bryant.
What a day. He gave a heck of a sermon today, eulogy for Mr. Gray. And now he's here trying to calm the residents of Baltimore, people that, you know, supposedly are in his camp, on his side. He says he's calling out all of the supporters that he has to build a human chain, a home wall, between this area and North Avenue, just a few blocks down from here, where Freddie Gray was arrested, to try to keep them from moving downtown and to keep the chaos that we're seeing in Baltimore today in one area of the city, and then hopefully, begin to rebuild -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Miguel, I want you to stand by, because on the left part of the screen, you're seeing what looks like a cab, a taxi cab. It's been attacked by rioters on the streets. You saw them smashing the window. I don't know if the driver is inside, if any passengers are inside. But they are clearly destroying that one taxi.
We've seen this now several times -- police vehicles smashed, burned and destroyed by these protestors, these rioters. It's getting very, very ugly in a major American city. And it looks like it could get worse, despite the eloquent statement by Jamal Bryant, the pastor of the Empowerment Temple, appealing to all those young people who are throwing stones, to simply go home. He says he doesn't want them arrested.
But you see police now showing some force. They're going out there. Presumably, they're going to be a lot of these protestors, if they can find them.
It's been an awful, awful situation now for the past hour or so, as this demonstration turned very, very violent -- Miguel, let me go back to you, because you're there and you're a lot closer to the scene.
What are you seeing now?
MARQUEZ: Well, we are seeing police reinforcements come into this area of Gwynns Falls and Reisterstown Road. You can see that's right -- that's Gwynns Falls Parkway just in front of us. That is one area that we found ourselves in.
Throughout the neighborhoods here, if we can get up to Reisterstown Road here in a second, throughout the neighborhood, you are seeing dozens, if not hundreds, of individuals carrying rocks and bricks, waiting for an opportunity to throw something at the police. When they do, and if they are in range of police, police are shooting either pepper bullets or they are marking them with paint.
And I'm looking down Reisterstown Road now and you can see the smoke down at the end of this road. That's right near North Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue. That's very close to the location where Freddie Gray was arrested. And there is -- that's where the CVS is that's being looted. And that's also where a police car is being burned. You can see the black smoke now really picking up. I don't know if other structures or other cars down there are burning, but the smoke seems to have gotten worse in the last few minutes.
Police -- there seems to be a lull in the activity at this point. Police now in a purely defensive position. They can't get to the police car. They can't get to the CVS. They can only really protect themselves and break up these groups of demonstrators who have now splintered throughout the city and are promising to go downtown, are in the area where Freddie Gray was arrested and the Western District police station that has become sort of the focal point for a lot of the protests over the past week.
[17:15:15] At that station they were increasing the security barrier, the perimeter, around that police station today for the first time. We saw them move cement barriers farther out from the -- the one block that they had previously. So they clearly are concerned.
That was happening following the reports that their -- the gang members, the Crips, the Bloods and the black -- the black -- another African-American group, had all gotten together, and said that they were going to target police officers.
This smoke down here, if you can see this, Wolf, is getting very, very heavy. It's not clear what's burning. I don't know if you guys have a helicopter shot up and can see what that is, but it seems to have picked up quite a bit in recent minutes. Just in the last five or six minutes.
And I don't even think they can get fire engines to these places right now, because they are -- it's too dangerous. You go through those streets, and it is a very, very hostile populace that you are greeted with.
We came up Reisterstown Road a little while ago in the middle of many individuals who were carrying rocks, sticks, bricks and everything else that they were -- and it was not a place where either police or fire department or any sort of public services would feel that they could operate freely.
It sounds like in this area, just hearing from what police are saying here, that they may be moving some of these forces, perhaps down to that area or some other areas where protestors are starting to splinter off, but it's going to be very difficult.
Jamal Bryant saying that they are going to form a wall, a human wall along Pennsylvania Avenue to try to contain the individuals coming out of West Baltimore, towards downtown so that they can keep the violence of today from getting any worse. We're looking at the number of police officers. They are backing out now.
Police are moving from this area. They'll probably leave some police officers here, but others -- you can see them -- some more heavily armed than others, and their gear more heavy than others. Those more heavily armored groups are going to start moving out -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. Stand by. Because I want to just update for our viewers who may just be tuning in what's going on. A major American city, Baltimore, Maryland, at least a chunk of it now under attack by violent protestors, demonstrators. They have gone after police. At least seven police officers, we are now told, have been injured. Some seriously in these attacks.
We know also some of the journalists have come under attack, including one D.C.-based photographer who works for us was under attack, has been taken to a hospital. These protestors are angry because of the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old individual that was arrested and died in police custody almost two weeks or so ago.
You see looting that's been going on in this area. They've been going into a CVS Pharmacy, just running in there and taking whatever they want out. It's happening right now. These are live pictures you're seeing coming in to us from our affiliates in Baltimore right now.
Tom Fuentes is a former assistant director of the FBI. He's our CNN law enforcement analyst.
Tom, I've got to just say, I'm sure viewers who are watching here in the United States and around the world are asking a basic question. What -- where's the police force? Where is the National Guard? Why is this happening in the city of Baltimore? They had advertised hours ago that these protestors were going to take violent action. And I'm wondering, what's going on?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, going back to Ferguson, Wolf, the police have been so criticized if they come out in force, if they come out wearing military gear, protecting themselves, helmets and look mean. They come out in armored cars. So Baltimore made a deliberate attempt here to keep that down, keep that militarization look down, and they were out there the other night in street shirts with no helmets, and I was criticizing that as being unsafe.
So I think now they're finally realizing that when you have gangs on the streets threatening the police, the time for, you know, being nice and not putting on protective gear is over. It's time to protect yourself -- not only yourself as the police officer but the community. These are businesses. There are people in that community that need their personal property and their persons protected, and that's not happening.
BLITZER: This could potentially get a whole lot worse. Stand by for a second. I want to bring in Captain Eric Kowalczyk. He's the spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department.
Captain, what is going on in your city right now? It's hard to believe you're only 40 miles from the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., where we are. CAPTAIN ERIC KOWALCZYK, SPOKESMAN, BALTIMORE POLICE DEPARTMENT
(via phone): Good afternoon, Wolf.
So right now, you know, Saturday we saw a group of protestors come out and peacefully voice their concern. There was a group of outside agitators in there that caused acts of violence, and you saw some pretty remarkable restraint from the our police officers.
[17:20:09] Right now, this is an entirely different situation. This is not protestors. This is lawless people with no regard for the safety of the community that they're in engaging in these violent acts against our police officers, and these very destructive acts against the community.
Our officers are going to do everything they can not only to protect themselves. But the community, the businesses, the people that live in that area, you're going to see appropriate measures taken by the police department. We've always deployed gas. We may use other crowd-control techniques in order to restore order into the area. We're sending in additional resources, and we're also ensuring we have police coverage throughout the remainder of the city so the citizens still have police services.
BLITZER: Been a half hour at least, Captain Kowalczyk, since that CVS came under attack. Looters going in. They're stealing stuff. They're taking it out. And these are live pictures we're seeing from that CVS Pharmacy over there. Look what's going -- I don't know if you can see our CNN coverage right now, but they're just running in there, and they're stealing stuff. Where are the police?
KOWALCZYK: Yes. I'm not in a position to be able to see your coverage right now. What I can tell you is that our first priority is the protection of life, and that includes the life of our officers and the life of the people that are in that community.
So we're going to do what we can to make sure that our officers are safe, that residents in that area are safe. And as soon as we're able to ensure everyone's safety, that we'll move in and do what we need to do to protect property, as well.
But again, this is about having a reverence for life and making sure that we protect the lives of our officers and the citizens who live in that area.
BLITZER: You need reinforcements, Captain? Do you need the National Guard? Do you need police from neighboring communities, from Washington, D.C., to come in and help?
KOWALCZYK: You know, we've been very fortunate that we reached out several days ago to our law enforcement partners in the area and asked for assistance. That's something that we do for a lot of other large-scale events, as well. It's routine for the police department to work with our surrounding partners. We've done that in this situation here, as well. We're very thankful for their assistance, and we're going to continue to ask for their assistance. BLITZER: And what about tear gas? You said you're using that,
because clearly, if you go into this one area -- we're showing live pictures of the looters going in and out of that CVS Pharmacy. If you go in there with a show of force, with some armored vehicles or whatever, presumably they're all going to run away? Right?
KOWALCZYK: You know, again, it's about ensuring the safety of people first. I don't want to speculate about what tactics could and might work. What we know is that we have an obligation to protect lives. We're going to take appropriate measures and steps that we're protecting our officers. We had seven officers earlier that were injured pretty seriously. We've had broken bones. We've had large bricks thrown at us. So we're going to make sure that our officers are safe. We're going to make sure that the people that live in that community are safe, and that's got to be our first priority.
BLITZER: Just give us a little perspective on how big of an area is under attack right now, Captain? Is it just a few blocks? Is it a bigger area? How close is it, for example, to downtown Baltimore? How close is it to Johns -- the Johns Hopkins University?
KOWALCZYK: Yes. I don't know that I want to use the word "attack," Wolf. I think what we're seeing here is a group of people that have no regard for other people's safety or the laws in the city. It's a -- a fairly decent-sized area of the city. It's several blocks.
But we have our officers deployed into -- we're shifting resources to make sure that those officers are supported, and again, our primary mission here is ensuring the safety of our officers and then the people that are in that area to make sure that no one else is injured.
BLITZER: And we're talking about injured. How many police officers have been injured?
KOWALCZYK: We have seven officers that were seriously injured. I can tell you that that's incredibly frustrating for us. We saw on Saturday largely peaceful demonstrations. And that's what Baltimore is. I believe I heard, while I was waiting to come on, someone saying that there was a human wall of Baltimoreans that was being formed to stop the violence.
That's what our city is. We have had a long history of peaceful protests. This level of violence is outrageous. The attacks on our police officers, the unprovoked attacks on our police officers, is simply unacceptable. And we're going to continue to shift and move resources to make sure that we protect our officers and the people in that community.
And I just can't emphasize that point enough. Our highest priority here is going to be the preservation and protection of life.
BLITZER: Are you going to go ahead and keep that Baltimore Orioles Major League Baseball game on tonight, 7:05 p.m. Eastern? KOWALCZYK: you know, I haven't been a part of that decision.
This is a fast-moving, dynamic situation. There's a lot of information coming in that's being processed, and I've been talking to reporters. We want to get the message out about protecting people's safety, and the steps that we're doing to take a look at that.
And that's, again -- we can't emphasize enough how important it is for us that our officers are safe are and the people that reside in that area that are traveling through that area remain safe, as well.
[17:25:04] BLITZER: How many police vehicles have been destroyed? We saw several burnt and trashed, literally stoned with bricks or whatever?
KOWALCZYK: Yes. Unfortunately, I don't have a count for you. Again, this is a pretty dynamic situation that's unfolding. And right now the concern for us is taking care of our injured officers, and deploying resources into that community so that we can protect the people that live there.
BLITZER: And we know at least one photojournalist has been severely injured and is in the local hospital right now. Have other civilians, other members of the news media been injured, as far as you know?
KOWALCZYK: I'm walking into a briefing shortly to get more information on this situation. We're going to continue to try to put information out as quickly and frequently as we can. Our social media site, Twitter, we're using to live stream, people go to @BaltimorePolice. We're trying to put out information there every two to three minutes so that people can get as frequent information, as up-to-date information, as we're able to put out. And that's really the best way that we can keep people apprised. And we'll continue to do briefings throughout the night. We want people to know what's happening in the city, as well.
BLITZER: I assume you're going to want to arrest these rioters, the ones who have committed these crimes, right?
KOWALCZYK: Absolutely. We put out this morning, we did a media release. There's a pretty infamous photo right now of a gentleman wearing a blue hoodie standing on top of one of our cars. He was arrested this morning. We will conduct appropriate investigations and take people that are responsible for either physical attacks on individuals on our officers or any other crimes that we're able to investigate. We will take them into custody.
BLITZER: And you have a lot of closed-circuit cameras there, with -- and you have a lot of cameras from overhead. So presumably, you'll have some evidence to go after these individuals.
Captain Kowalczyk, if you don't mind, I know you've got to get to that meeting. If you can join us in a little while afterwards, we'd like to resume this interview and get the latest information for our viewers here in the United States and around the world.
KOWALCZYK: Sir, I'll be happy to call in just as soon as I can.
BLITZER: All right. Thank you very much. Eric Kowalczyk is the captain, the spokesman for the Baltimore Police Department. These are live pictures coming in from the streets of Baltimore. It's hard to believe this is going on in a major American city now.
This has been well-advertised that these -- some of these rioters, these demonstrators were to get violent. Clearly, the police wanted to play it down to begin with, didn't want to exacerbate the situation. But now it's gotten extremely, extremely ugly.
Tom Fuentes, you wanted to make a point, as well.
FUENTES: I can't believe the statement that, when it comes to protecting property and people, it's suddenly an either/or proposition. It's a proposition. You protect both. They knew this was going to be a bad day. The day of the funeral is always an emotional day anyway.
They've had intelligence throughout the morning and through the afternoon, about the gangs threatening to attack the police. It's both. You have to protect the whole community, property and people, and not decide one against the other.
BLITZER: Hold on -- hold on one second. This is active looting going on right now. You see them now dispersing. Maybe the police are getting closer, but you see they've been -- I assume that CVS Pharmacy is basically trashed by now. Because for the last 45 minutes or so, they've been running in and out. It's hard to believe this is going on, as I keep saying, in a major American city right now.
Jeffrey Toobin is with us, as well. He's our senior legal analyst. Jeffrey, you covered crime in Baltimore, especially this one group called the Black Guerrilla Family the police say are involved in these protests. What do you know about this group?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, the Black Guerrilla Family is a long-standing prison gang actually started in California, but they took over the Boston City Correctional Center. The BCDC, which is the local jail, and ran it for a period of about a year. Many of the guards and many of the prisoners have since been arrested. But it's indicative of a very serious gang problem that's been in Baltimore for quite some time.
The Crips and the Bloods are also active, but the Black Guerrilla Family is the group that ran the jail.
If I could just emphasize something that Tom said. The idea that Officer Kowalczyk would say that the Baltimore police are doing their job by simply disappearing when stores are being looted, that is not my idea, or my understanding, of how the police are supposed to work.
And no one there is a demonstrator. No one there is a protestor. These are criminals. These are looters. And I think that distinction is not just semantics. These are criminals who are preying on this city, and the police should be out there doing something about it. BLITZER: Yes. I know that Pamela Brown is with us, as well, our
Justice correspondent. The federal government, what are they doing to prevent this city from at least several city blocks being trashed?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, we had a brand- new attorney general just sworn in today, Wolf, Loretta Lynch, and we have learned that she has been called to the White House for a meeting with the president and the situation unfolding right now in Baltimore will be part of that discussion. I have been told that she has been monitoring the situation there.
This is really her first major challenge since being sworn in as the attorney general, as the nation's top law enforcement officer, just hours ago. The White House DOJ, in close coordination right now, I can tell you, with Ferguson, Loretta Lynch's predecessor, Eric Holder, actually went to Ferguson, as you know, Wolf, on the ground there to calm the situation. He told me he believed that his presence there actually helped calm the mayhem.
It will be interesting to see what Loretta Lynch does in this situation, how she handles it, if she does go to Baltimore, if she comes out to hold a press conference? We'll have to wait and see. I'm told the White House may be issuing a statement, as well.
BLITZER: Did you say the new attorney general was sworn in today is now at the White House for this emergency meeting?
BROWN: I don't know if it's an emergency meeting. I don't know if it was an already planned meeting, if this is her first day on the job or if it is a last-minute emergency meeting. But I've been told that, yes, she's at the White House meeting with the presidents and that the situation unfolding right now in Baltimore is part of the discussion. You can imagine that the Department of Justice and the White House are trying to figure out how to respond, how to calm the mayhem there in Baltimore.
BLITZER: Let me bring Joey Jackson into this conversation, our HLN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney. Joey, it's hard to believe what we're seeing is actually happening in Baltimore, Maryland, only 40 or 50 miles away from Washington, D.C.?
JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: It really is Wolf, as an understatement. And it's just heartbroken -- it's heart-breaking.
And, look, the reality is this: It's very difficult to advance the message of justice, Wolf, when you have people engaging in acts of mass injustice. And I know these are agitators, but what the family has called for, this completely contradicts that.
In the event -- and I get and I understand that there's bottled up frustration. I get and I understand that this is -- you know, systemic. There's long-standing mistrust between police. But there are ways to resolve things legally, properly, and there are ways not to do things. And, you know, it flies into the face of the message of bridging the gap between the communities. Building trust with the community. And it speaks to the larger issue in the inner cities. And this
is a message not only that resonates in Baltimore but throughout the country. Yes, there has been a number of instances that cause mass concern, Wolf, but there has to be some way to bring faith leaders together, to bring elected officials together, to bring community leaders together, to bring young people together, to advance the cause of peace in a just constructive way. When you see this destructiveness, it's just heartbreaking and heart-wrenching.
BLITZER: All right. Look at this. We saw a CVS Pharmacy trashed. Now you see these protestors, these demonstrators, rioters, they're going after this other pharmacy, a Rite Aid. They're trying -- obviously, they want to try to break in there and potentially loot this place, as well. But looks like that's pretty well shut down, and those rioters are returning away from there.
I keep asking you, where are the police in Baltimore right now? They seem to be invisible, at least in some of these areas that are under attack. I used that word deliberately, under attack right now.
Miguel Marquez, you're there. You're in the middle of all of this. You attended the funeral of Freddie Gray earlier today. That's why you're wearing a suit and tie right now. We see these vehicles that are being burned. Police vehicles, civilian vehicles. What are you seeing right now?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The air is acrid, I can tell you. This is yet another fire right up this way. It looks -- smells like a car, certainly looks like it might be another car burning. Very, very hard to breathe in this area right now.
And if you look southeast here down Reisterstown Road, you can see the smoke. That's where the other police cars were being burned, several other vehicles, and that CVS was being looted.
The police that you noted, completely in defensive mode. Just holding onto neighborhoods like this and breaking up the protestors. Let me show you what's happening here. They're bringing, it appears that they are starting to hopefully, maybe, get the upper hand here, trying to get these vans loaded up with other officers and tried to move them to areas where they know the looting is happening and the protestors are -- are -- bottle there. And the protestors are not even protestors at this point, just the looters and the rioters are basically having at it.
Look down Reisterstown Road here. You can see a number of individuals who seem to be ready for the police to come down this road. I suspect, as these vans filled with officers head down that way, it's not going to be a particularly good ride for them. But they're probably trying to get down to North Avenue, just a few blocks away where that CVS is.
BLITZER: Hold on a moment, Miguel. Hold on. These are live pictures. That's a police vehicle right in the middle of that crowd. You see people jumping on top of that vehicle, smashing windows. I don't know if anyone, police officers, are inside that vehicle or what. But these rioters, they don't seem to be concerned about getting arrested, because they're out there in full force.
Maybe some of them don't know there are a lot of closed circuit cameras there. There's going to be videotape. The police say these people eventually will face justice for breaking the law, for looting, for breaking vehicles, for going after individuals.
[17:35:08] You see that CVS Pharmacy. I suspect most of that pharmacy by now, the left part of your screen, has already been looted. People are still going in and out. They're running in there, they're taking stuff. Who knows what they're doing inside.
We saw also earlier a Rite Aid pharmacy not far away that was being looted, but -- they were trying to get in, but security was a little tougher there. Vehicles on fire in the streets of Baltimore right now.
Pamela Brown, what else are you learning?
BROWN: Actually, the Baltimore Police are asking for parents to find their children and bring them home. Find their children and bring them home.
I know earlier today the mayor there in Baltimore had said that the after-school activities would go on as normal. Now we're hearing from Baltimore Police that the situation is simply too dangerous, too chaotic, and so they're asking for parents to bring their children home.
The Baltimore Police, Wolf, have been actively tweeting throughout this unfolding situation, trying to keep the community up to date. And this is their latest plea to the community to bring their children home from school.
Also, Wolf, we know that the Baltimore Police have issued this -- this threat against law enforcement with these three gangs that Jeffrey Toobin talked about earlier, the Black Guerrilla Family, Crips and Bloods. I've been speaking to officials who have prosecuted some of these gang members, and they say that it's extraordinary, that these gangs are sort of uniting, coming together to target police.
These are gangs that are normally fighting over the turf. They usually don't like each other. And the fact that they're now coming together to target law enforcement reflects the amount of frustration there on the ground.
BLITZER: And what's so frustrating, Tom Fuentes, is that all this was advertised hours and hours ago, that the demonstration today turn violent and potentially even bloody.
This is not a huge secret, but what I hear you saying is the police deliberately made a decision to keep a low profile, to not exacerbate what clearly was already a very tense situation?
FUENTES: I think it's pretty clear. Because in any attempt for the police to arrest somebody, that means they're going to have hands- on, a wrestling match, have to use force and all. That's going to completely agitate everybody. It's going to be the whole mayhem all over again.
But I'd like to go back to one statement the mayor made recently over the weekend: "Let's give them space to destroy." So maybe this is what we're seeing.
BLITZER: Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. What did she mean by that?
FUENTES: I have no idea what she meant, but maybe this is what she meant. Let them have a few buildings.
BLITZER: I'm sure she didn't. I know the mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. I'm sure she did not want to see this unfold within her city.
FUENTES: But if you read that kind of stuff, and that gets out publicly, then what does that say? And we're not seeing a police response. Maybe it's unrelated. But the police made a decision not to take on these groups the way they should and prevent this kind of looting.
BLITZER: Clearly, they're MIA now in several of these key locations. Presumably, the police, they should be there. They should be protecting not only property but life, as well. But so far we don't see them at these various locations. We see several police cars being burnt and destroyed. And we see looters going in there and carrying stolen goods out of that CVS Pharmacy.
Pamela Brown, do you want to make a statement?
BROWN: You look at this scene. It reminds you of Ferguson. You've got to compare's two, when we saw the rioting, the mayhem unfolding there, as well.
But it is interesting you point out we don't see the police there. And it makes you wonder if perhaps they are being timid in the wake of what we've seen in other situations.
BLITZER: Jeffrey Toobin, wait a minute. This is a picture of a CVS Pharmacy, and casually, people are just going in, walking, and they're not even running. They're going in there, stealing whatever the hell they want to steal in there, and then they're leaving. And I don't see any police there. Where are the police?
TOOBIN: I have no idea, and Baltimore will spend a long time explaining where they are.
But let's just be clear. These are not protestors. These are not demonstrators. These are criminals who are stealing things out of there. And the idea -- it's also, remember, you know, this is not just property. People work in the CVS. There are employees who work in all their stores. Who is protecting them? The absence of a police presence in so shocking, and I just hope people are not getting hurt.
BLITZER: Take a look at this. Take a look what's going on over here. Checks cashed. You see another store. People are running in. Maybe they're stealing money from this -- this business, where people can go and get debit cards, pay their bills and get their checks cashed. And people are just running in there.
Why did the police, Tom Fuentes, retreat in a situation like this? You see that ATM machine. They're just going through the window right now, and presumably, they're going to come out with some cash. I don't know what's going on over there, but I don't remember seeing anything like this in the United States of America in a long time.
FUENTES: It's been a long time, and I think that we were under the impression that the state police were nearby staging behind-the- scenes so it didn't look like a huge police presence. And they held back on wearing the protective equipment and the armored cars.
And now, you know, it doesn't take six hours to go from a staging area to the area of these lootings like we're seeing now. So something is amiss here as far as the police, who are always supposed to prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.
[17:40:16] And we're not seeing the best. We're seeing that the worst actually is playing out, and there's no preparation to deal with.
BLITZER: Joey Jackson, you see this particular business now being looted by these rioters, who are just going in there. Presumably, they think they can steal some money or steal some debit cards, go in there and they're running in. They've trashed the whole place, presumably, by now. What goes through your mind?
JACKSON: Not good things, Wolf. It's horrible, and it's just -- it just really contravenes the entire message of a movement which is meant to get people together, to have them work cooperatively with law enforcement.
Law enforcement needs the community. The community needs them. And I get and understand that if there's a military presence, then certainly, it could escalate the situation.
But having nothing there, no protection for business, no protection for people, and allowing members of the community to go in and to destroy businesses, it just is not the answer.
And to Jeff Toobin's point, indeed, these are not protestors. These are not the people who have been out there in force, expressing a message of peace; a message of unity; a message to say, listen, you have to cool this down and ramp up the dialogue and down the rhetoric. These are just people who are engaging in criminal acts.
And using this as an excuse to go in there and to do these things so the businesses -- it really is disgusting and deplorable, and it needs to stop. And I hope it stops with the members of the community and the reverend working with the police department to restore order to what is a very tense and volatile situation.
BLITZER: We're just getting word that the Maryland State Police is sending in 42 state troopers to Baltimore to help out. Another 40 troopers are presumably also on the way, according to a statement just put out by Maryland State Police. That sounds like not very many.
They do say since last Thursday more than 280 state troopers have provided assistance in Baltimore, but they're going to need a lot more than 40 additional state troopers to help what's going on. You see what's just happened at that particular business that cashes checks, provides debit cards. It looks like it's effectively been looted. I saw individuals running out with bags. I don't know what's in those bags, presumably money, or credit cards or debit cards or whatever.
These are live pictures of some state troopers, now arriving on the scene. You're going to need a lot more than just 40, though, to deal with this crisis in this major American city.
Miguel Marquez, what else -- what else do you have?
MARQUEZ: Yes. Those troopers have just left this location. And I can see lots of the Baltimore Police now getting into these vans. They are moving down to that North Avenue location to try to restore some order there.
We're going to move out of their way as they are loading up.
I can tell you, the fire on the north end of us seems to have stopped now. The police on that end have pretty much cleared out, and you can see that people are starting to come down this way, as well. And this is what Baltimore looks like tonight.
The number of riot police who are trying to restore order in this city, as the police are starting to pull out of here, you can -- the citizens are starting to move back up into this area. They think that it is now safe for them to move out of here. So they're going to try that.
I have just spoken to Reverend Owens, who was at the church service today, at the funeral for Freddie Gray, and he says that at 6:30, right now, they are gathering at the same church, New Shiloh, just about a half mile from here, and all of those ministers are going to get together. And they are trying to work out a route with police, that ministers and anyone that they can bring to bear will walk a route with police, trying to get people back into their homes, and to stop this sort of violence that they see right now.
A very chaotic scene here as police begin to pull out of here. We saw the state troopers pull out. Several different SUVs and vans that they were in. And now Baltimore Police are loading into every available vehicle that they have right here, and they are going to move presumably down to North Avenue, where you've seen that CVS being looted.
You saw a police car set on fire and you saw several other cars set on fire there. The thick, acrid smoke here just of -- you know, in the streets, and just really making for an unpleasant atmosphere all around. It's a -- it's almost like a physical sign of the fear that Baltimore is feeling tonight, Wolf. BLITZER: Yes. They've got their -- their helmets. They've got
their shields. They've got their batons. And presumably, they have weapons, as well, getting into the vehicle. And they're presumably going to be making a move to try to stop what's going on. It's been well over an hour that CVS was looted. I don't know what's taking them so long to get there.
I'm sure a lot of people who are watching us right now are wondering what's taking so long for Baltimore Police to get the job done and bring some order to this community. It's still -- it's still continuing.
Go ahead, Miguel.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They have been in defensive mode the entire time that I have been here. They have tried to stand back and tried to lower the heat and lower this, keep this exact thing from happening, and it has failed. On Saturday we saw small groups of officer unprepared for the large number of protesters who came around and encircle them at certain points.
The officers in great harm, and their property, all of the cars were left in the open. The officers unready for them at Camden Yards. They just don't seem to be in a -- in a forward-leaning position as much as they should be. Literally, about half, if not more than half, of the contingent of officers who are here at this location that was under such attack earlier are now leaving in every single vehicle that they have -- excuse me, every single vehicle that they have available.
The smoke is starting to get heavier in this neighborhood as well. There may be another car burning up north of where we are. There was one burning very heavily there a short time ago, and you can see all of the cars now. I'm going to step out into the street.
BLITZER: All right. Hold on, Miguel. Hold on, Miguel, because I want to just tell our viewers that we're seeing live pictures now. This one vehicle, I don't know if it was a police vehicle or a civilian vehicle, but it's clearly been destroyed. This is just one of many are cars that have been put up -- that had been torched by these rioters who have gone -- and it's hard to believe as I keep saying that this is happening in the city of Baltimore.
I want to go to the White House. Michelle Kosinski is standing by.
What are you learning over there, Michelle?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. We are here, of course, only 40 miles ay way from where this is going on right now. The White House has been quiet on this situation. We've been asking for the last, I guess, more than an hour now, if they're going to put out a statement, do they have anything to say on this?
We know that they're monitoring the situation, we know that they are looking at the same pictures that we are seeing, at least in the press office. It's possible we will hear an official statement from the president or from the press secretary later on. Just unclear at this point.
The president, of course, we know is meeting with the new attorney general, just -- just confirmed and sworn in this morning, Loretta Lynch. This meeting was not called because of what's going on right now in Baltimore, but that this would be one of the topics, is what we're told.
Reporters other than still cameras were not allowed into that meeting for any part of it. So there weren't able to -- we didn't get any information out of what they were saying. The president nor the new attorney general made any kind of statement to the press that was in there.
So right now we're waiting to see if there will be an official statement. We're told that it's unlikely the president will deliver a statement himself. You know, such as in the briefing room. But it remains to be seen. We're watching this.
What the White House has been saying over the course of the last several days, you know, since this happened to Freddie Gray there is that, you know, this is something they take seriously. They're watching the situation.
The White House always refers to this task force on 21st century policing that they created because of this. And even what they said today in the briefing room. The press secretary really emphasized that these problems that have come up around the country are strongly local issues. That they require local leadership, first and foremost, and then that in conjunction with the state and federal governments.
The White House has been trying to project a real commitment to improving race relations. Especially relations between police departments and communities around the country. But so far in this situation, we haven't heard anything on the events at hand -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Yes. And I just want to be precise. That meeting the president is having with the new attorney general, Loretta Lynch, was that previously scheduled or is it an emergency meeting as a result of the rioting that's going on in Baltimore?
KOSINSKI: Yes, we're told not an emergency meeting. I mean, because she was sworn in this morning, it's possible that they just wanted to have this first meeting almost a congratulations. But it's clearly taken on a different tone now that this is happening as they speak.
Now because it's possible that we will hear from the White House, I mean, even an urging calm. We were asking them if they were going to put out something like that. It was unclear at the time, but I think it's likely when this meeting ends, between the president and the attorney general. If they're going to put something out it's likely we'll hear something then. So that's something that we're watching -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right. We'll stay in close touch with you, Michelle Kosinski, over there. This is happening in the city of Baltimore. It's a major
American city, one of the largest cities in the United States. Only 40 miles or so from Washington, D.C. and for the last hour and a half or so, maybe two hours, there have been violence -- violent demonstrations, violent rioting going on. Stores looted, cars destroyed. Police officers injured, civilians injured including some journalists, photojournalists, who have been injured.
[17:50:05] You're looking at pictures going on. Police beginning slowly, I guess, to get to those areas. This is a -- or was it a CVS, still a CVS but it's been basically trashed. Some police vehicles have now arrived and presumably some of those violent demonstrators, rioters are going to start leaving because there's going to be a lot of arrests down the road. But a lot of people are wondering, where is the mayor of Baltimore?
Where is the police commissioner of Baltimore? Where are city leaders right now? What's going on? How could this happen when all of this was so widely anticipated for hours earlier and today some of these violent gang groups and Jeffrey Toobin has covered some of these violent gang groups in Baltimore over the years including the Crips and the Bloods and Black Guerrilla Family.
They were advertising for hours today, Jeffrey. This was going to happen and yet it did happen and the police were sort of in a defensive posture.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: And they remain invisible in the key locations. I mean, that I think remains the most astonishing thing to me, that we have active looting going on and there are no police there.
As you were saying, I covered a story in the Baltimore City Correctional Center which is the detention center, which is the local jail, and the Black Guerrilla Family was so strong there they had basically complete control of the jail. The guards were largely female. Many of the guards were romantically involved with the inmates. Many of them -- were pregnant and had children with the inmates, and it was indicative of just how powerful the --
BLITZER: Look at this.
TOOBIN: Guerilla Family.
BLITZER: A police vehicle now getting through this area and the shot from the helicopter -- that cop car is going very fast right now and presumably -- I don't know where it's going but that's a dangerous situation in an urban area like this.
Look what's going on, Tom Fuentes. Is this the appropriate behavior for a vehicle like this, with a lot of cars like that on the road?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Wolf, I have no idea where that car is going or why the high rate of speed so we can't --
BLITZER: Looks like that police vehicle is escorting someone important in the black vehicle, the van, behind that police vehicle. I don't know who it is. But it's clearly a dangerous situation that's under way, and you know what is so frustrating.
Joey Jackson, I just want to get your thoughts, people are watching this all over the country, indeed, all over the world and they're asking themselves, what is happening in Baltimore?
JOEY JACKSON, HLN LEGAL ANALYST: And that's the larger problem and I understand and I get that this stems from a large sense of loss, a large sense of frustration, but it can't be rationalized, it can't be justified. It's criminality and so the protesters who are peaceful should continue with the message to build forward relationships with the community, with the police, with the clergy so that things can get better, but people to use as an excuse just, you know, going into stores and looting businesses, there's no justification at all.
Now the police I know are faced with a very difficult task. Do we move in? Do we make it more militarized? Do we injure more people? At the same time the police are there to restore order, to restore peace, but until we get to the root of the problem, which is the historic distrust, until we get to the root of people having some sense of, you know what, we have to trust the police, we have to trust investigations, we're going to see this over and over and over again.
We can't and this can't be justified by any measure but we have to take constructive steps to make it better, not steps of violence to make it worse, and that's the problem because people are watching this, Wolf, in this country and as you say around the world.
BLITZER: Yes, you know, this is Baltimore. Home of the Baltimore Orioles. They're supposed to have a game at 7:05 p.m. Eastern Time later tonight. Camden Yards is not very far away from this community, from this area where the rioting, the burning, the looting has been going on, Baltimore, home of the Johns Hopkins University. It's a beautiful city. The Baltimore Harbor. And it's hard to believe if you take a look what's going on in Baltimore right now that this could be happening.
We haven't seen -- we saw in Ferguson, Tom Fuentes, we saw looting, we saw violence, we saw demonstration. But I think this is -- it's hard to believe that this is happening in Baltimore.
FUENTES: Definitely is, Wolf, but I'd like to add something that there's more to this than just the community upset with aggressive policing and upset about Freddie Gray. A year ago, January 2014 Commissioner Batts was discussing the fact that the previous year they had 333 murders which he attributed most of them to gangs fighting over turf and the Black Guerrilla Family.
So this battle between the police and criminals against gangsters has been ongoing for a long time, and the stats have shown that 95 percent of the murder victims were black and that the ages range from 18 to 34 so this is something that this gang in particular, the Black Guerrilla Family, along with Bloods and Crips, are preying on members of the black community.
[17:55:13] Freddie Gray stood just as much chance to be killed by them as any police officer or anyone else at time, and these 333 murders were not outside agitators, these are Baltimore gang members.
BLITZER: All right. Look at this. This is still going on. It's hard to believe it's approaching 6:00 p.m. here on the East Coast, 6:00 p.m. in Baltimore and looters are still running around, run nothing stores, they're stealing whatever they can and they're destroying and torching vehicles. It's hard to believe this is still going on at least two hours now since it erupted on the streets of Baltimore and we still don't see a significant police presence.
We see potentially gang members and others who are going in. There are some police officers, police vehicles coming in right now and we'll see what happens, but this is really, really a serious, serious blemish on all of Baltimore right now that this could happen under these circumstances.
And I wonder, Jeffrey, where is the mayor, where is the police commissioner, why aren't we hearing from them right now to urge calm and to deal with this?
TOOBIN: They are invisible as are the police in this --
BLITZER: Look at these live pictures.
TOOBIN: Now the other point to keep in mind here is that it is now 5:56 in Baltimore. It's going to get dark soon. And as dangerous as this situation is now, it will get exponentially more dangerous if all of this disorder is happening and all of these people, not protesters, criminals, are running wild in the dark, so unless order can be restored in the next hour or so when I think that's about another hour of daylight, I think Baltimore could be looking at a long night.
BLITZER: Look at that police vehicle right now, Tom Fuentes. Look at how that vehicle has been trashed and there are people still there -- look at this. This guy is taking a picture of somebody in front of that police vehicle, on the side of that police vehicle. They're having a fun time out there, Tom Fuentes, right now. They're taking selfies and they're taking pictures.
FUENTES: Yes. It's like a trophy, you know, for them so they're enjoying the day, enjoying the destruction of police property but, you know, to Jeff's point about it getting dark later, I think right now you probably just have general hooligans on the street doing this looting. After dark, you know, if the Black Guerrilla Family and Bloods and Crips show up in force, they're going to be heavily armed. They may outgun the police. That's the normal battleground between the police and them and after dark it's primetime. I think we could have a very serious situation.
BLITZER: Look at this live picture coming in. You see police, they're gearing up to move in presumably. They've got their reinforcements. They're going to need a lot more than that given the anger that's going on in the city of Baltimore right now.
Pamela Brown, you're getting some more information?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Wolf, so we're following Baltimore police Twitter feed and, in fact, they say we are continuing to deploy resources across the city to respond to reports of violence.
Now looking at these shots that we've been looking at the past 10 minutes that's hard to believe but we did just see a show of force and we know that Maryland State Police, Wolf, have brought in an additional 40 troopers to help with this situation. But as we keep pointing out, this is not only serious because of rioters on the streets right now, there is this gang threat, Wolf, that we know the FBI in Baltimore is now investigating this gang threat against police.
And you have three major gangs uniting, which I'm told is pretty remarkable to have these three gangs who are normally fighting for turf and normally hate each other, unite and come to this agreement to target law enforcements.
BLITZER: Are they going to be able to, Jeffrey Toobin, find these looters, find these rioters, police who have been destroying police vehicle, civilian vehicles, taxicabs, gone into these stores, looted these stores, destroyed for all practical purposes, some of these pharmacies.
Are the police going to be able to make those kinds of arrest?
TOOBIN: I think it's unlikely that they will arrest them now. Fortunately there are videos of what's gone on and they will be able to probably identify some of them. That's what happened in Ferguson. There were after the fact some identifications through the use of video. But I think at this point what Baltimore Police could and should be doing is simply to establish a safe situation so the people who live in these neighborhoods are not facing the kind of danger that they're facing now because, you know, they're the ones who are really in jeopardy.
BLITZER: You see crowds still there out of the streets. You would think by now these people would want to go back to their homes, get inside before it gets really, really ugly. It's been very, very bad so far but it could get as it gets darker increasingly more dangerous for what's going on in the city of Baltimore.
This is the scene that a lot of us never anticipated seeing in a city like Baltimore. An African-American mayor, African-American police chief, but it has happened and we're watching it unfold.
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